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Andy Burnham says compulsory vaccinations would be ‘a step too far’

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 9th December 2021

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has said that Boris Johnson’s hints toward introducing mandatory vaccinations are ‘dangerous’ and ‘a step too far’.

The Mayor has strongly opposed any suggestion of compulsory vaccinations against Covid-19.

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The Prime Minister said in his press conference that a ‘national conversation’ about compulsory jabs would be considered, a measure which has already been introduced in Austria.

Though insisting that he didn’t ‘want us to have a society where we force people to get vaccinated’ the PM said: “I think that there is going to come a point, if we can show that the vaccines are capable of holding Omicron – and that is the key thing we need to test – I do think we need to have a national conversation about ways in which we deal with this pandemic.

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Boris Johnson in yesterday’s press conference

“I don’t think we can keep going indefinitely with non-pharmaceutical interventions, I mean restrictions on people’s way of life, just because a substantial proportion of the population still sadly has not got vaccinated.”

On Twitter yesterday, Andy Burnham said: “I am usually in favour of strong measures to protect health. But compulsory vaccination is a step too far.”

This morning, he added: “So the Government chooses the very moment its authority is in tatters to talk up compulsory vaccination?

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“That’s a poor judgement call and, at this stage of the pandemic, quite a dangerous one.”

This morning, Health Secretary Sajid Javid firmly dismissed any talk of mandatory vaccinations.

Asked about it by Sky News, he said: “No — I’ve got no interest in mandatory vaccination.

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“Apart from the high risk settings of the NHS and social care which we’ve already set out we will legislate for.

“Other than that, if you’re talking about universal mandatory vaccination, I think ethically it’s wrong, but also at a very practical level it just wouldn’t work.

“Getting vaccinated has to be a positive decision.”

Featured image: GMCA / Unsplash